Todd Orlando & Tim Beck quotes – 9/6/17

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

Todd Orlando (Will Gallagher/IT)

Todd Orlando and Tim Beck were available Wednesday night to recap Saturday’s loss to Maryland and to look ahead to San Jose State.

Todd Orlando

On what he learned about his defense: “When you go back and watch it about 50 times and you’re going through it, like I said beforehand, it’s on me. It’s on me. These kids played hard. They did the things. We just need to clean up some of the fundamental work. That was the biggest thing. I’ve told them ‘hey, listen, let’s not let this game define who we are.’ Honestly, going through this and coming through fall camp, looking at the that way we performed in fall camp, and the way that we practice going up to the game, going out onto that field and starting off pretty fast and going into it, and then kind of going through those stretches, that’s tough. But let’s not make it define us and we can’t have Maryland beat us twice. That’s probably the biggest thing. I was saying outside it was very therapeutic for us to get back out on the practice field on Tuesday because we’re all hurt. When you go out there and that’s your performance, that’s gut wrenching. To get back out there on the practice field and start getting back to fundamentals and get back to basics and go real, real hard in practice, in my opinion, we’ll be rewarded.”

On the number one area to improve: “It would be perimeter support. I thought during the game, we let too many balls get outside of us. We addressed it right on Sunday. We came out for a little, 20, 25-minute run through and that’s what we worked on and then just some of the eye discipline that we’ve got to clean up. But like I said beforehand, those kids fought, scratched, and clawed. This is on me.”

On if he needs to simplify: “From what we did in the game to what we’ve done in the past, if you ask the random kid walking down the hallway right now, it was pretty simple. I wouldn’t say it was to the point where it was so vanilla but it was not overwhelming. You expect that in first ball games. That’s one thing that we’re very mindful of — big crowd. Kids want to prove something. You don’t want to have too many wrinkles here or there or do stuff that you’re teaching for a week or week and a half. It was a couple of things, but for the most part, we did what we’ve done all fall camp.”

On the number of missed tackles: “I can say this part of it, it was probably in the 15-20 range, which was extremely high for us.”

On if problems were more administrative than effort based: “Like I said beforehand, when things go wrong, it’s to the guy that’s running it, and that’s me. That’s what I’m explaining to you guys. I take full responsibility for it, and like I told the kids beforehand, the only way that I know to get anything righted is to go back to work. Like I said beforehand, you sit there on Saturday and, just like everybody in this room felt, you can imagine what I felt like. So, what you try to do is you try to process the information, look at the film, find out things that you can do better, and once you get into Sunday, get those things corrected with the kids, go out there and physically do them. Then, at some point you have got to let it go because you have the next opponent. So that’s the biggest thing from our kids’ standpoint. We can’t sit here. Everybody’s embarrassed by it, there’s no doubt about it. But to sit here and go into Wednesday or go into Thursday and still have that, to me that’s a loser mentality. We can’t have that here. Like I said, very therapeutic to get back on the field on Tuesday and just go back to work and reestablish our identity, fundamentals, techniques, and get better.”

On who played well: “There was a couple of guys. Holton (Hill) is a guy who comes to the top of my head. I thought Malik (Jefferson) did some decent things at times. There were a couple of plays that I think he left out there. When I evaluated him last year, there were some things that I said ‘man, he’s okay.’ But I saw him cut it loose a couple of times out there which was good to see. We had opportunity and we scored three times on defense, too. That’s just mind-blowing to me that you can start a game off that way and then get into these patches and it just felt like when there was a critical play, it was this, that, or whatever it was. We had opportunities, going into that game, even when you look at the fourth quarter, third and 19, and we got a chance to get off the field. I think it’s a three-point ball game. Get the ball back to our offense because our offense is starting to roll. Just those things, we have to take advantage of that and capitalize. Those are the things that obviously eat at me, they’re tough to swallow. I’ve been doing this for 12 years as a coordinator, and been doing it for 22 as a coach. You have these moments in it, and the hardest part is to let go. You have to get it corrected, but at some point — I’ll inch myself back in and watch it 30 times, this’ll be the 30th time, just because, to me, it works on your brain but you’ve to get prepared for your next opponent.”

On if more guys will play this Saturday: “This week, we will because we have to. Ten seconds a play. When they played South Florida, they ran 92 plays. When they played Cal Poly, because Cal Poly is more of a running team, it was a little bit less, but we’re thinking we’re going to see like 92 plays, 95 plays, so we’re going to have to. We’re going to rotate guys in there, and at that point in the game I think we played in like 62 or 63 at Maryland. But this game, most definitely, we’re going to be substituting guys in.”

On coaches’ expectations not changing: “I think what ends up happening is, when you get into some hard times, it’s fight or flee. You look at it and say to yourself, this is the course, this wins us championships. Is it going to be hard? Is this a setback? Absolutely. In our deal, this is what shows what we’re about. This coming week, this ball game is going to show everybody in the country if these guys have the grit to win a championship. The hard times, it’s easy to get on a bandwagon, it’s easy to celebrate when things are going great, but when stuff is really hard, it’s who is going to be there, who is going to be next to you, shoulder to shoulder? Are you going to turn around and we’re about to get in to a fight and I can’t find my buddy — he took off. This is what we are going to find out this week. Honestly, Tuesday’s practice was as good of a practice as we’ve had around here and today was a good practice too. The kids responded the way that we wanted to. You talk about ‘oh we’re not changing’ and it goes into doing a routine, a consistent routine that has testimony that wins championships. So it’s really easy when you get knocked around a little bit to sit there and question and analyze, but we’re not going to do that. Our kids are starting to understand that when adversity hits, you square it up. You square it up and you go after it.”

On the play of PJ Locke and Kris Boyd: “Like I said beforehand with those guys, it’s very consistent throughout fall camp. There are some plays that are out there that with Kris and with P.J., there’s a whole bunch of other guys, and not to call those guys out, but we have to finish those plays. That’s the expectation with it. It’s just back to basics with it. Those two guys, I love those two kids. I’ve already told you guys how I felt about P.J. As disappointed as he is, it’s love him up. We keep talking about ‘I’m not going to let this define anybody and we’re going to move forward off of it.’ I think that, from his standpoint, that’s what we’re talking about. We’re in this together.”

On what “let it rip” means to the defense: ‘I think when there’s an opportunity to make a play there is no hesitation. It should be instinctive and just cut it loose and go. Don’t process things as you’re going to the football. That’s what we’re talking about. If you watch the film, you guys saw it, if you watch the film, and you say, “hey finish that thing up,” what is that hesitation? And I think that’s what we’ve been preaching is if you sit there and there is any type of doubt in the game where you have a bunch of dynamic guys that you’ve got to tackle or defend, that little ounce of doubt costs you a step, costs you a pick, costs you a tackle. So the biggest thing is don’t go out there and analyze and think. Play free, put your foot in the ground and just go. That’s what we have been—came out of the gate and we’ve always preached that defensively. It’s like we don’t want anybody analyzing anything we just want you to go. But just reinforcing that and say, you know what, there’s going to be a time when we do fail, it’s okay. If we have ten other guys chasing right behind us we’ll be fine. So that’s ‘let it rip.’”

On if the coaches support the players only meeting: “I think when you get in those situations, that’s the decision of the head coach in terms of that. I know this, being a family and being a family member, if they wanted to get together, and Tom’s the one that makes the final call on it, but me personally in terms of those guys wanting to get together and rally each other, and say ‘hey, listen, this is what we need to get accomplished,’ I think that’s very healthy. They wouldn’t have had it if Tom didn’t think so, too.”

On watching Sam Ehlinger take first team reps: “Here’s what you get with Sam. Sam is a scrappy dude.That’s what Sam is. Sam is a scrappy kid. I love everything about him. Straight A student. If I could play him at linebacker, I’d play him at linebacker. I’m sure he’d want to play linebacker to be honest with you. That’s what type of dude he is. Love that kid.”

Tim Beck

Shane Buechele (Will Gallagher/IT)

Shane Buechele (Will Gallagher/IT)

On what he learned about his offense: “We did some good things in the course of the game; we didn’t finish off drives and finish off enough plays. I caught the end of TO’s, same thing, I thought initially we came out to play not to lose as opposed to playing to win. I think we settled down a little bit and the flow of the game started going a little bit better for us. Penalties hurt us big time, killed a lot of drives over the course of the game. At different times we would get a big play, get a first down and goal, then the next thing you look up and its 3rd and 20 so we can’t do that. It was one of the things we talked I the team about on Friday. The key to the game is to not beat yourself up. I certainly give credit to Maryland for what they did, much improved having played them, but we could’ve done things a lot better as well.”

On limited running back carries: “You looked up, we’re down 21 I think, 26 at one point, whatever it was, 21, 26. The mindset just became to score. We’ve got to score fast to get back in this thing. When we did, we kind of were rolling. Why would you change? We kind of found a rhythm on some things. Shane was doing some good things. Had a hot hand and we had guys getting open. I just felt like ‘hey, just keep doing what we’re doing right now’ because it was working. We were moving the football and got a couple of touchdown drives there. I think that was the perception. I don’t think it was any lack of trust in those guys, or doing any of that by any means.”

On how Ehlinger has looked in practice: “You know, Sam is a competitor. Let’s start there. He’s going to do everything in his power if we need him to play on Saturday, he’ll be ready. So the way I look at him and what he’s done, he’s done nothing but improve since the day he walked in through these doors. As a quarterback, understanding our system, he does a great job. His personality, his leadership, all the attributes and characteristics you want in that guy, he’s got. So I think when the question comes up, ‘how does the team feel?’ I think the team will follow, I think the coaches respect him. He’s a hard working young man, he’s a great student, and he does everything right. How do you not follow one of those guys? He plays really, really hard, so you love that and that’s all you can ask of the guy.”

On if Ehlinger can run the whole playbook: “Obviously, we’re going to put together a gameplan to allow him to have success that will help us beat San Jose. The things we feel like we need to do to beat them, he’s repping those plays as he’s practicing.”

On if he’ll start: “I can’t tell you that right now.”

On Heard’s role and if he’s getting reps at QB: “A few, just in case. We have Josh (Covey) and him. He’s the last one, the last one you’ve got. If Shane’s not playing, the last one you’ve got is Sam. You’ve got to have something. You have Josh Covey and you give Jerrod a couple of things.”

On Shane Buechele not seeing Dorian Leonard on fourth down: “Yeah that was a tough one, it was an interesting trade off that they did. They were in man coverage and the guy playing man on Dorian left him. Tough see for the quarterback. It was the No. 2 guy. Usually the No. 1 guy’s man might fall off, but usually the No. 2 guy doesn’t. Just got tangled up and he missed it. But there wasn’t very many, you know, he didn’t miss very many. I think at one point he had 13 or 14 in a row.”

On the sack on the first play: “They rolled the corner. (Shane) missed the hitch into the boundary. He should have threw the hitch first. That was his first read. I think he predetermined what he was going to do before the snap.”

On if he could start Shane if he only practices two days this week: “Probably, yeah you could. Shane is a veteran guy and has started thirteen games here. It would be different if he was a younger guy, I’d feel really apprehensive of doing it, but he started thirteen games. If we felt like he was ready, if you watch he’s back there taking every rep, he’s just not throwing the football. He’s back there behind the quarterback, running every play, getting mental reps right now.”

On if Shane could start after not practicing at all this week: “I don’t know. Maybe. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to look into the future.”

On if any backups could play more: “I can’t think of anybody off the top of my head that jumps out that says ‘hey, wow, this guy.’ I thought we were inconsistent. There was a lot of good things that some of the players did, but again, we were inconsistent.”

On Kirk Johnson: “I think he’s one of those guys, too, that he’s a day-to-day guy a little bit.”

On possibly playing the freshman RBs: “They continue to improve too. Those guys are talented guys. I think probably by the end of the year, we’ll need them at some point. That wouldn’t be out of the question if we used them. I think we talked about this last week a little bit, I trust the assistant coaches. If Stan (Drayton) feels like he’s ready to play, we’ll play him. If he doesn’t, we won’t.”

On his confidence on this offensive line: “I love the offensive line. I mean it was communication issues, it was the biggest thing. It wasn’t the talent, it wasn’t toughness, it wasn’t heart, it was communication issues.”

On if he’s still confident in running behind Connor Williams and Patrick Vahe: “I believe so, yes. I think that those guys continue to get better. You know, Maryland did some different things so when you install a new offense, you got new guys doing it, you practice a certain style or do a certain thing, then they come out there a little different and sometimes it creates apprehension, it creates communication issues and that’s a little bit of maybe some things that took place.”

On how much they’ve had to change the run game due to injuries: “I don’t think we sat there and said ‘hey, we lost these guys. We can’t do this anymore.’ I don’t believe that that’s been the case at all.”

On Patrick Hudson: “He did. He played some, yeah. I thought Pat did pretty well. I know Derek (Warehime) felt like he probably should have played him a little bit more. So, he might be a guy that might see more action. I trust those guys. If Derek feels like he’s had a good week in his practice and he comes to me and says, “Hey coach, we’re going to play him more,’ I’m good with that.”

On Denzel Okafor: “Yeah, I thought he played pretty well too. Derek had mentioned that as well. The game got out of hand fast, unfortunately. And as a coach you rely on the veterans a lot. You hang your hat and say, “Well I’m a little nervous about maybe putting this guy in because we have to get things going.” So that may have been a little bit of the case.”

On fixing offensive penalties: “We obviously show them why. You know the holding call and the guy who got the penalty, we had another guy who didn’t execute what he was supposed to do to help. So, we teach them ‘this is wrong. This is what happened.’ He was just trying to protect the quarterback, but he had didn’t have help. So, we just have to do a better job at those things. It’s hard. When you coach those guys, who play really, really hard and really, really fast and you mix all the intangibles together, sometimes stuff like that can take place. We never ask our guys to play perfect. That’s one thing about Coach (Tom) Herman that I love. He’ll never say “play perfect.” Because the minute you say ‘don’t take penalties, don’t do this or that,’ everything is negative. It’s all don’t, don’t, don’t. Just put your foot in the ground and go as hard and fast as you can go, and protect the football. That’s it. Talent can overcome speed. Hard work and toughness, you can win a lot of games doing those things. You can do a lot of games doing those things. Build that culture and you continue to coach the fundamentals and techniques—they can’t go out the window. You watch the game and some of them did. We got sloppy because we were behind. When you get behind you tend to go back to old ways. I think everybody does. Sometimes some different things took place like that that shouldn’t have taken place.”